Journalism Was Ever Thus

Jacques Barzun's cultural history, From Dawn to Decadence, describes the rise of journalism. We hear many complaints nowadays of bias in the media, and it is hard to deny the justice of the claims. But apparently, it was ever so:

The journalist developed into a social type, exemplified in the London of the years of our concern [ca. 1715] by Defoe, Addison, Steele, Swift, and a large group of lesser lights. Their common characteristic is allegiance to a political party....What journalists of every type see as their proper task is to form public opinion.

Maybe the idea of unbiased reporting is merely another canard?